At first sight, you might think this dog just got out of an Egyptian tomb. The Pharaoh Hound is a gracious-looking and intelligent buddy.

If you’ve got your eyes on this dog, we’ll help you decide whether it’s suitable for your lifestyle and character.

So, read on, and let’s introduce you to this unique dog breed:

Meet the Ancient “Blushing Dog” 

At first, you may be skeptical about becoming friends with this dog, but underneath its intimidating appearance, the breed is full of love and affection.

Pet owners worldwide adore this unique dog, which also goes under the name of Egyptian Hound. The breed is famous for its blushing coat and smiley face. Also, it carries a piece of religion in it because it resembles the Egyptian god of death, Anubis. 

It’s among the oldest recorded dog breeds, and you can often find it in Egyptian art as a companion of kings and nobles. So, don’t be surprised if you feel like a pharaoh near these dogs.

The National Dog of Malta 

Throughout history, the only country that made an effort to maintain the original breed is Malta. So it’s no wonder why the Pharaoh dog is the national breed of the country. The Maltese call the dog “Kelb tal-Fenek.” That means “dog of the rabbit” because it mainly hunts small animals.

Fun Fact: Malta cherishes this breed so much that in 1977 the government made silver coins with the Pharaoh Hound’s face.

The Pharaoh Hunting Companion

While Pharaoh Hounds are mainly hunting dogs, they’re also an indoor breed. They’re traditionally used for hunting rabbits in Malta. Aside from that, they’ll hunt any small animals, especially cats. So beware of this innate reflex and take great caution if you unleash your hound. 

AKC’s Breed Declaration

The AKC recognized the breed in 1974, passing its strict breed standard that describes the dog in detail. Today, the sphynx-looking dogs are proud members of the Hound group and in the category of Sighthounds.

Pharaoh Hound’s Graceful Appearance

These gracious dogs are curious, energetic, and always in a mood to play.

People recognize the Pharaoh Hound as the dog that looks like Anubis because of its mesmerizing glossy coat and erect ears — a hallmark of this breed.

Adorable Pharaoh Hound playing in the snow

Coat That Glows Like a God

The purebred Pharaoh dog has a tan or chestnut tan coat with white markings on the tail, chest, and toes. It’s soft and easy to gloom. The breed sheds very little, so it’s an excellent choice if you don’t want to deal with dog hair. Also, the unique coat makes these dogs resistant to temperature changes. 

Athletic & Powerful Build

The Pharaoh Hound has a medium-size, athletic build. It’s an animal of grace and speed with a slender body and clean-cut lines. These dogs have amber eyes, and their skull is long and chiseled-looking. Their tail curves when they’re active. Also, the ears should always perk upwards.

The average height of a male Pharaoh Hound is 23–25 inches, while a female is 21–24 inches. A male’s weight varies around 50–55 pounds, while a female can be 45–50 pounds on average.

Pharaoh dogs always have an alert expression, and their muscular bodies make them look powerful and sharp. They can run and jump obstacles with no problem.

They Can Smile & Blush

Fans of this unique breed refer to it as the “blushing dog.” When these hounds get excited, their nose and the inside of their ears turn pink. This characteristic is due to the lack of black pigment in their skin.

The Pharaoh Hound can also smile, making it even more adorable. You’ll see every tooth in its mouth. These human-like features soften the hound’s rather scary look.

The Breed’s Adaptable Temperament

Pharaoh Hounds are brilliant dogs that are born chasers. They often make their own decisions and can be pretty dominant among other dogs. Because of their unpredictable temperament, you shouldn’t leave them unattended in an unfenced area. Also, you might need a few tips on leash training before they chase the first thing that moves near them.

If these dogs sense danger, they’ll bark until all your neighbors move out. That makes the Egyptian Hound more suitable for rural surroundings than modern cities.

Although they’re not aggressive by nature, socializing with other dogs and people will make them tamer and approachable in public areas. 

Intelligent & Eager to Please

This breed loves to entertain its humans. It’s intelligent, protective, and will cautiously observe any stranger that gets near its owner. Luckily, that deep bond with its human makes training a lot easier.

Easily Distracted

In ancient history, the breed was famously an Egyptian guard dog.

Today, Pharaoh Hounds are too friendly to serve the same purpose, but their alertness is useful to sense anything out of the ordinary. The problem is that they consider too many things suspicious, especially small and innocent animals.

Because they get bored easily, Pharaoh Hounds seek full-time attention and will bark if left alone for too long. It’s almost like taking care of a baby. 

These dogs can be quite unpredictable. They may even ignore your commands if they spot something interesting to go after.

Calm & Collected Indoors

While indoors, these hounds are calm and quiet. As long as you give them a daily run into the wild, they’ll be content to stretch on your sofa and sleep all day.

The Pharaoh dog breed is adaptable to living in a house or apartment. Even so, the best place for these dogs should have a backyard, preferably with a high fence, as they’re prone to escaping and hunting. But you can also keep them in an apartment if you can exercise them sufficiently.

Family-Oriented & Reserved to Others 

Pharaoh Hounds have a strong connection to their families. Generally, they do very well with young children and dogs of similar size. You should be well aware of the breed’s innate hunt drive and habit of chasing small creatures. As long as you don’t keep small animals, like cats, hamsters, or ferrets, in the house, it should all run smooth.

As soon as these hounds sense stability and love, they become social butterflies

Daily Exercising Routine 

Because of their athleticism and enthusiasm, Pharaoh Hounds do particularly well in several dog sports. So you can use many activities to wear out your Anubis Pharaoh Hound. Here are a few examples:

  • Lure Coursing
  • Hiking
  • Agility Courses
  • Running Laps
  • Training Sessions
  • Cycling (with the dog alongside)
  • Hunting Work

Also, many of these dogs love swimming, and they’ll take any chance to play with water, especially if the weather is hot. If you want to please your pet, an adjustable pool for dogs will surely bring happiness. 

Such exercises help the dogs spend the energy that makes them cunning hunters. Otherwise, they’ll bark until the end of time.

So, if you’re a couch potato, the Pharaoh dog isn’t for you. The breed requires daily activities for at least 30 minutes.

Nutrition to Fit That Adventurous Spirit

Pharaoh dogs need a high protein diet. They’re very muscular and active, so meat must be a top ingredient in their meals. If you want your dog to maintain a healthy weight, you should feed it well-balanced meals, mostly raw food.

Good-quality dog food is always a great choice, but you must be careful if your furry pal is prone to allergies. If you notice continuous itching or sneezing, consider food for allergy-prone dogs as a solution.

You should also provide clean and fresh water at all times. Giving treats in moderation is another must. To avoid overeating, measure your dog’s meals with a cup or scale.

Keep in mind that satisfying their nutritional needs with homemade or store-bought food can be expensive. 

Wellbeing & Lifespan

For overall health and happiness, the Pharaoh Hound needs balanced meals, regular physical activities, and lots of attention. Its physical and mental state will mostly reflect on its look. After all, what happens on the inside shows on the outside. 

The Pharaoh Hound’s average lifespan is 11–14 years. The longer lifespan is due to the breed’s lack of severe health problems and good genetics.

Pharaoh Hound enjoying the splashing water

Common Health Issues

Generally, these hounds are healthy dogs, but the breed has some genetic conditions. Let’s look at the most common health issues you should be aware of:  

Anesthesia Sensitivity

Because of their lean bodies and low-fat percentage, these dogs don’t do well with anesthesia. A normal dose for other dogs can be harmful and even life-threatening for the Anibus Hound. So you should find a good vet who can determine the correct amount for the royal Egyptian dog.

Patella Luxation

Patella luxation is often a problem for larger dogs with muscular bodies. It happens when the dog’s kneecaps pop out of place, resulting in severe pain, lameness, and joint swelling. Prevention includes avoiding high-impact activities and doing regular vet checks. It’s a prevalent condition for Pharaoh Hounds because they’re exceptionally mobile by nature. 

Hip & Elbow Dysplasia

It’s a genetic condition that can be a serious problem for these active dogs. It’s painful and can cause hip and elbow swelling, joint dysfunction, and eventually arthritis. Also, the condition may cause mobility issues. The symptoms can occur at an early age, and you can notice them by carefully observing your dog’s movements.

Eye Disorders 

Eye disorders can have a dramatic impact on your dog’s life quality. It can be a very tragic experience for a Pharaoh Hound with a hunting temperament. Unfortunately, the breed may inherit eye conditions like blindness and cataracts. The good news is that you can treat them successfully if discovered in time. So, if you notice changes in your dog’s eyes, like reduced clarity of their lenses, occasional blindness, and tears, don’t hesitate to seek medical help before it’s too late.

Grooming — You Don’t Need Much to Keep That Coat Glowing

Pharaoh Hounds are easy to groom. An occasional bath and weekly brushing with a hound glove will keep their coat shiny and remove any foul odor.

When it comes to dental care, you need to wash the teeth of your Pharaoh Hound at least two to three times a week.

Once or twice a month, you should trim your dog’s nails shortly and neatly. Remember that dog toenails have blood vessels in them, so you must be careful while doing it. If you don’t want to make this a traumatic experience, you better buy a good grinder for dog nails or leave this job to a vet or groomer.

You should clean the ears daily. After all, they’re a remarkable part of the breed’s appearance. That will protect them from infections and bacteria.

Just be gentle with these dogs and turn grooming into a fun and bonding experience. 

Finding a Pharaoh Hound

Pharaoh Hounds are an endangered species. Nowadays, the breed is very rare in the US, so you should consider finding a breeder or, even better, adopting.

Adopt From a Rescue or Shelter

Adoption is always the better option. There are thousands of lonely and abandoned dogs in desperate need of love. If you’re new to the adoption process, check these rescue centers for a Pharaoh Hound adoption:

The breed is very expensive, ranging from $2,000–$5,000. But if you adopt, the cost will be much lower, and the puppy — happier.

Select a Breeder 

Finding a reputable breeder is essential if you want a healthy pup from a safe environment. A good breeder must know everything about the breed and have all the documentation and health certificates you need. If you’re looking for Pharaoh Hound breeders, here are some common characteristics that you might find useful:

  • A reputable breeder will let you check the puppy’s environment and introduce you to the parents.
  • They’ll be willing to share the dog’s medical history and vaccine record.
  • If their reputation precedes them, expect a long waiting list.
  • The final decision will be yours, so they mustn’t pressure you to buy or hurry with your decision.
  • If the breeder answers all your questions and gives you useful information about the breed, it means they’re well-informed and know their business.
  • They should allow you to validate the pedigree of the Pharaoh Hound you wish to adopt.

If finding a breeder is hard and stressful, you can always turn to sites like Pharaoh Hound Club of America or Smart Pet Decisions. That’s where you’ll find certified breeders who are willing to help you.


Pharaoh Hounds are loud and impulsive dogs. They want action and can be pretty demanding. But one thing is for sure — they’ll steal your heart! There’s no boredom with these dogs. They’re always out and about, so you can also get some extra exercise. Your Pharaoh Hound will take the spotlight wherever you go, so be ready for lots of drama and even more love.

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